Legacy , Music Business

Sonific announces MusicAPI, connecting Record Labels and Artists with Social Networks

This is a major announcement for us – you saw it here first ;)

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August 21 2007, San Francisco, California

Sonific’s MusicAPI connects Record Labels with Social Networks

Sonific LLC, a leading provider of music applications and widgets for online communities and social media platforms, today announced that it will open the first release of its Music Application Program Interface -the Sonific MusicAPI– to both record labels and music companies as well as to social media platforms and services, later this year.

Sonific’s MusicAPI will, at zero cost and simultaneously across all partner networks, allow any interested record label, music publisher or artist to ‘talk to’ and connect with 100s of social networks and online communities, and opt-in their music catalogs for the streaming use on social network sites. Ecommerce functionalities will be provided by Sonific affiliates such as iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, Wippit and many others.

Content providers (such as record labels) will share in advertising revenues, and will be able to take full advantage of using a single channel to achieve viral exposure on all key online communities and social media platforms around the world, such as Facebook, WordPress, Myspace, Friendster, Hi5, Xanga, Orkut, Typepad, Vox.com, Livejournal, iGoogle, Google Gadgets, Netvibes, Blogger, AIM Pages and Live.com. With a single mouse click, music  companies will soon be able to connect to 100s of platforms and present their music on what has become the next iteration of Radio: Social Networks.

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With astounding growth rates of 50% to over 400% per year, social networks are quickly becoming crucial attention generators for music companies, soon to be rivaling online portals and search engines. Social media is not only exploding in the U.S. but also reaching a truly global audience, with a high percentage of users in Europe, China and South-East Asia, South America and India. According to a recent Comscore report, Myspace’s UA (unique audience) rose to 61 Million people in July 2007, while Facebook’s was 19 Million. Blogger.com scored a unique audience of 30 Million users, Typepad.com almost 10 Million, and WordPress.com 8.2 Million (Sonific offers widgets for all 3 platforms already).

Sonific’s research indicates that the total unique audience on all social and self-publishing networks already exceeds 220 Million people – and music is the most often requested feature, across the board. According to a recent Olswang UK study, 2 of 5 social network users (and 65% of teenagers) have embedded music into their profiles, approximately 70% do so to show off their taste and half do so to reflect their personality. Social networks also have significant impact on music buying habits: 53% of people confirmed that they actively surf social network sites to discover new music and artists.

Sonific therefore believes that a standardized and constantly maintained interface between record labels and social networks represents a major business opportunity that goes way beyond the current music widgets craze.  “The recent developments in the digital music space and the tidal changes that are finally happening among the major record labels means that we will without a doubt see every single record label (small or large) sell music in non-DRM formats by the end of this year. As predicted for some time now, the music business is getting ready to switch to an open-access policy, and this will lead to an explosion of tremendous new opportunities, with the most lucrative turf being Music on Social Networks. Any site, portal or community can now become a music retailer, without having to add costly and ubiquitously hated copy protection measures, and therefore online communities stand to become even more important, very soon. In fact, I would predict that Social Media will become as important as Radio was back in the old days of Vinyl and CDs, which is why Sonific is gearing up to become something akin to the Music Operating System for this new turf”, comments Gerd Leonhard, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonific LLC.

Gerd continues: “If music companies want to be successful in this new ecosystem they urgently need a flexible yet fast and very low cost way to funnel any or all of their music into social media networks, while receiving a solid share of the advertising revenues, in return. In addition, music-related ecommerce opportunities will explode and very powerful market-feedback data can be provided by the platforms that use the music. Sonific’s MusicAPI will soon provide a one-stop solution for all involved parties: platforms and services will be able to plug in Sonific’s MusicAPI and instantly avail themselves of licensed music catalogs as well as make use of Sonific’s technology solutions; and record labels and other music rights holders will be able to opt-in any musical work, and make it available to the entire social media landscape – all in one go. Real-time usage information and other data will be made available, and advertising revenues will be shared – Music2.0 is finally becoming a reality.”

Sonific estimates that, based on the current growth rates and the continued global trends that see cheap broad-band access proliferate everywhere, the number of social network users will triple within the next 18 months, to almost 750 Million users, creating the biggest new audience opportunity that the music industry has seen since the introduction of the CD, back in 1983.

A crucial component of Sonific’s MusicAPI will be the integration of advertising into the widgets and the API, itself, allowing the content owners to instantly participate in new revenue streams without having to individually re-invent the wheel and spend precious resources on building those tools themselves. In addition, Sonific will also make its MusicAPI available to outside developers, allowing the music widget ecosystem to unfold even faster.

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